Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

directed by Dave Filoni

Star Wars: The Clone Wars poster  
Set in the interval between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, this animated movie is an appeal to the Star Wars Kid in us all. The Clone Wars begins in a whirl of movement, lights, and athletic leaps. It follows Anakin Skywalker (voiced by Matt Lanter) and his friends as he's assigned to investigate a kidnapping. Jabba's son has been taken, and the Jedis are embroiled in a war by the separatist forces led by Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). Since Jabba controls large tracts of space, the Jedis must secure his favour in order to travel freely across his territory.

Jabba may come across as the kind of creature who might eat his own young, but apparently he has a soft spot. Anakin is another one who turns out to have hidden dimensions. He's assigned a padawan, although he believes he's definitely not cut out for the role of a teacher. He is shaping up into a very talented Jedi, but he doesn't want to be held back by having to teach anyone.

Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) is reckless, feisty, something of a braggart, and eager to prove herself as something more than just a youngster. She's also cheerful and irreverent, and therefore an ideal companion for the dark and moody Anakin.

The Jedis are faced with Asajj Ventress (Niki Futterman), an assassin sent by Count Dooku, as well as open warfare and an attempt to set them up and discredit both the Jedis and the Republic. On top of all that the cute, burping slug that is Jabba's son is in need of urgent medical attention, or he may die. If they allow the young Hutt to come to harm they would lose any hope of an alliance with Jabba.

The Clone Wars tells a fairly simple story that ties in closely with the overall themes of the Star Wars series. It begins with a lot of action and some frenetic pitched battles, which keep this movie well supplied with enough flashing light-sabres to warm the hearts of toy sellers everywhere. Many of the characters are already familiar, and anyone who has watched episodes I to III should have no trouble understanding what is going on. The action also takes place in familiar settings such as Coruscant and Tatooine, so it's not hugely novel.

The film is depicted in a distinctive and clunky visual style which gives most of the characters very blocky faces. It is, at least, unlike most other animation styles, but it's likely to polarise opinions. The movie is aimed at a somewhat younger audience, judging by the film's simplicity and its shorter running time. It's a reasonable and inoffensive movie that kids will enjoy and a more mature audience may also like.

Film Details

Year: 2008

Categories: Films

  Kids     Science fiction

Classification: PG

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3 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson